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Business Challenge

As one of the largest corporate purpose software providers in the world, Benevity helps businesses power their social impact programs. The platform enables millions of users to make charitable donations, organize volunteer opportunities, and issue grants to nonprofits. To date, Benevity has facilitated more than 58 million volunteer hours and supported more than 418,000 non-profit organizations, raising over $12 billion dollars for charitable causes. The platform has also awarded 1.2 million grants worth $18 billion.

Benevity’s massive user base demonstrates the value it provides to its customers, and a growing commitment from businesses to give back to local communities. However, Benevity’s user base also presents a challenge to the engineering team. The team needs to provide a seamless customer experience, even during peak periods. If there are any errors or downtime, thousands of worthy causes miss out.

Challenge: Maintain platform reliability with rapid growth 

For Benevity to scale, they must have a reliable platform that their customer base can depend on. Benevity processes tens of thousands of donation transactions on a daily basis, and they need a monitoring solution capable of growing in parallel to the company’s customer base. They wanted to provide consistently excellent customer experience to maximize donation transactions on behalf of their clients.

Benevity’s challenge of scale isn’t just a matter of adding new customers. The company’s software must also be able to accommodate sudden shifts in demand. The holiday season coincides with a period of dramatically increased giving. The infrastructure must be able to absorb the increased traffic and transactions. On Giving Tuesday, an outage of just 20 minutes could mean thousands of lost donations and up to hundreds of thousands in lost dollars. Surges in donations and volunteering can also come unexpectedly in response to natural disasters or other major social movements. To keep on top of these surges, Benevity can only keep pace with these moments by taking a proactive approach to its monitoring, to reduce its mean time to detection (MTTD) and mean time to resolution (MTTR).  

67%
reduction in MTTD
<30
minutes to MTTR
$120
million in donations supported on Giving Tuesday

Uptime doesn’t just make a difference for Benevity; it makes a difference for our hundreds of customers and the hundreds of thousands of nonprofit organizations we support on a daily basis. New Relic provides Benevity with the technology we need to scale successfully, ensuring we can resolve issues proactively and maintain reliability even during our most intense periods of demand.

Solution: End-to-end monitoring and incident management 


New Relic provides Benevity with real-time data as a single source of truth across the entire technology stack. This allows both SRE engineers and DevOps teams to improve platform uptime and resilience and quickly alert to problems before they reach the customer. The team began with New Relic application performance monitoring (APM) and New Relic dashboards.

The upgrade in dashboards is particularly important during moments of peak demand. Before New Relic, Benevity dashboards would only display the number of users on the site and page load times. Now, Benevity engineers and clients have highly detailed visibility into key workflows and CPU usage, making it easier to accommodate sudden changes in demand or pressures on the system during peak times. New Relic also devotes additional resources to Benevity during the giving season and other anticipated periods of high demand; no additional features are necessary to prevent errors during these critical moments. 

Using New Relic Infrastructure monitoring with APM and New Relic alerts, the engineering teams are able to detect issues within minutes and connect data sources to find that needle in a haystack. Using APM data and dashboards to identify issues, engineering teams gain increased visibility and resolve issues quickly across their technology stack.

Benevity uses New Relic to track MTTR, MTTD, and other software improvements. This data allows the company to consistently refine its software and technology stack, leading to steady increases in productivity. Since deploying New Relic, Benevity’s engineering teams have reduced MTTD from 15 minutes to less than five minutes and MTTR from 90 minutes to less than 30 minutes—allowing them to focus energies on shipping new features and projects instead of constantly putting out fires.

Without New Relic, it would have been impossible for Benevity to scale from a $20 million Giving Tuesday to a $120 million Giving Tuesday. The rich level of data and knowledge enabled by New Relic allows our team to go and help clients grow their giving practices.

 

 

Impact: Increased uptime and reliability supports developer productivity and exceptional customer experience


Adopting New Relic gave Benevity the confidence needed to rapidly scale and expand their business. Each new Benevity customer represents an outsized impact in the real world: client employees motivated to give back to their communities through volunteering; grants to underwrite the important work of non-profit organizations; and donations to support those most in need. On Giving Tuesday 2022, Benevity facilitated $122 million in donations to more than 50,000 unique causes. 

New Relic has ensured consistent uptime for Benevity’s web and mobile eCommerce tools, while also supporting customer experience optimization and bottom-of-funnel monitoring — ensuring no stone goes unturned in the effort to make a difference. New Relic dashboards allow leadership to see client trends, usage habits, and best practices, which allows them to make data-driven decisions on how to help customers to grow and improve their employee-giving programs.

“New Relic was the exact solution we needed as our company grew to become the leader in corporate purpose technology,” says Sona Khosla, chief impact officer at Benevity. “Their platform makes it easy to always understand the health and performance of our systems, which has in turn made it possible for our developers to spend more time building new features.”

As Benevity scales to help more organizations find their corporate purpose, New Relic will scale alongside them to keep things running smoothly. Benevity engineers will use New Relic to continue the process of refinement, ensuring that each day is more efficient and more impactful than the last.